Engineering Seniors Present Projects and Receive Certificates, Achievement Cord

Engineering Night is a yearly event when the seniors in the engineering academy present their yearlong engineering projects to parents, teachers, and professional engineers and receive their Engineering Achievement Cord.

This year 40 seniors, a record number, received either a certificate of achievement or the Engineering Achievement Cord.

Dimond has been pumping out great candidates for engineering programs for over a decade.  Dimond adopted the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Engineering and has developed the program to produce students that can think outside the box.

PLTW is a national program that consists of nine different engineering courses, six of which are currently offered at Dimond.  These classes are: Introduction to Engineering Design (IED), Principles of Engineering (POE), Digital Electronics (DE), Civil Engineering and Architecture (CEA), Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) and Engineering Design and Development (EDD).  

Because we have lost teachers that are certified to teach these courses, seniors now take a combined course of EDD with either CEA or CIM depending on the year.  

This combing of course material can add a little extra stress at times, but being able to have two quality, hands-on classes at once can be very beneficial.

To earn the Engineering Achievement Cord, students must take POE and take three other engineering courses at Dimond and earn a B or higher in each.  

Students must also take four years of math and four years of non-engineering science courses including biology, chemistry and physics.

The other big purpose of engineering night is for students in the EDD/CIM course to show off the EDD project they have been working on since the beginning of the school year.

These projects are meant to demonstrate the engineering process, from defining a problem to refining a design.  The ultimate goal of the class is not to build a successful prototype, but to learn from a process.

Andrew Kozak, a senior, said, “From the beginning of the year, failure is identified as an option.  This is unusual for students of our caliber, because usually, school means you need to end with success.”

Kozak took EDD last year as a junior and had a wonderful time woking on his project.   He said, “Almost no group had any success last year, we pretty much all failed.”

This year some groups appear to be more successful, but many are still having a hard time mixing their past engineering experience with the long process that EDD is designed to teach.

Wade Roach, teacher of the EDD and IED courses, said that many of the engineering students are only used to tinkering.  

Tinkering is the act of building by the use of trial and error.  True engineers use certain principles and formulas to determine success before spending too much time on one concept.

Cameron Sheldon, the only junior taking EDD, said, “Living in an environment where everybody’s senioritis affects each other, it has become very discouraging to my work ethic as a junior.  There has been several times where my group has been highly discouraged and would not like to work. This has been a difficult obstacle to overcome.”

Senior Kyle Wright said, “Our group has gone through some points of high motivation as well as deep discouragement. There were many points where we thought our project wouldn’t meet the high standards of professional engineers.”

For many students, the biggest worry is no longer their grade.  They simply do not want to embarass themselves in front of the pros.  

Several groups are kicking it into high gear to produce a presentation and prototype that showcases their attempts at true engineering this year.

The junior and seniors of EDD are excited to be done with this daunting project.  It has been a long, hard, dusty road they have journeyed on.

Engineering students and teachers alike want nothing more than to see products that can shine a positive light on the Dimond Engineering Academy.